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How Fresh Is Your Email Marketing Data?

How Fresh Is Your Email Marketing Data?

Posted 02/04/2009 by Gareth Cutter

A recent Marketing Sherpa article got us thinking: 'nothing ever stands still in the world of email marketing'. You might have had contacts on your email list for anything from few days to a few years now: will they still want the same things from your email marketing campaigns as when they first signed up?

For instance, a contact that first signed up for your discount offers may now want to receive your weekly newsletter because they're more interested in your brand; or a prospect that was only browsing before might now have the budget to start considering pitches from different businesses. If you aren't aware of these changes, and don't give subscribers an opportunity to inform you, your campaigns are likely to irritate rather than interest. How can you avoid this?

You could either let the contacts tell you about their changes in circumstance (provided there's an easy way for them to do so) - or you could get the ball rolling and ask them first.

Updating your contact's unique data regularly is as effective at improving campaign success as cleaning your list of old and incorrect email addresses. It means the information is fresh and allows you to send more targeted and relevant campaigns. An added bonus is it provides an additional touch to contacts, reminding them of your interest whilst giving them an opportunity to improve the value of your messages.

Surveys, webinar Q&A sessions, preference centres - there are many ways of attracting responses from your contact list. To illustrate, data specialists, Vericept found that webinar attendees often gave information about their budget and business goals when questioned directly after the session using an online survey. This provided valuable data for the sales team to qualify their next sales calls. Incentivising surveys and putting the benefits to subscribers first is the best way to ensure a strong response.

So when was the last time you got in touch with your contacts to ask them how they were? If the answer is 'I don't remember', drop them a short email to find out. It doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming (in fact, the shorter the better), just enough to get the best out of future email marketing campaigns. After all, it's not just polite to express an interest in your contacts - it can be profitable too.

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